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How Paige's WWE Career Can Be Resurrected After Return from Neck Injury

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2017

Paige channeling her inner Mick Foley.
Paige channeling her inner Mick Foley.Credit: WWE.com

Paige hasn't been seen on WWE television since the draft on July 19 last year, and recent events seem to indicate she might not return to the company once her contract expires.

The 24-year old wrestler has been through many ups and down over the past year, but there is still hope she can turn things around and make a triumphant comeback.

She has fought through two wellness policy suspensions, a scandal involving leaked photos and videos and a severe neck injury.

Some might think the WWE wouldn't want to deal with these issues, but if history tells us anything, it's Vince McMahon is always willing to forgive transgressions if it's best for business.

Her problems may have happened in a short amount of time, but it's nothing we haven't seen before. Let's go through every obstacle standing in the way of her returning to the ring.

        

Leaked Photos and Videos

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PAIGE @RealPaigeWWE

Personal and private photos of mine were stolen and unfortunately they were shared publicly without my consent.

The leaked photos and vidoes of Paige were an invasion of privacy and would have been an embarrassing situation for anyone, but it's not the end of the world.

There are NSFW images of several current and past Superstars floating around on the internet, both male and female.

The same thing has happened to countless celebrities, and many of them have weathered the storm just fine. Jennifer Lawrence's career doesn't seem to have been affected judging by how many awards she has won.

The WWE might not like the press the situation received, but we live in an age where this kind of thing, unfortunately, happens all the time. 

Nobody is paying attention to the story anymore, so it would have little to no impact on her potential return to the ring.

       

Neck Injury

Paige's neck injury is the one thing which may prevent her from ever wrestling for any promotion again. A recent example of a similar situation is Nikki Bella.

She had a neck injury she was told would stop her from ever getting back in the ring, but she rehabbed hard and returned to action. Most of her journey was chronicled on Total Divas for the world to see.

PAIGE @RealPaigeWWE

Also surgery went well. The hernia was bigger than expected and my neck was straightened now this girl has 3 screws in her neck. Pics soon🙏🏻

In fact, Bella appears to be a more well-rounded wrestler after being given some training by Daniel Bryan during her hiatus.

Paige is already a top-notch performer, and the WWE knows she appeals to a different kind of fan than most of the women's division. If she can get healthy, she would be a valuable addition to Raw or SmackDown.

            

Wellness Policy Violations

WWE UK @WWEUK

BREAKING: WWE has suspended Paige for 60 days, effective immediately. https://t.co/fyqYTQ9JJb https://t.co/u429gdtdjG

The WWE's wellness policy has a three-strikes rule. According to WWE.com, Paige has already had her first and second violations, resulting in a 30-day and 60-day suspension, respectively. 

While this doesn't work in her favor, the WWE has been known to continue pushing Superstars in similar positions. 

Randy Orton was suspended for 60 days in 2012, and he just finished up a run as WWE champion. Current tag team champion Jeff Hardy had his second violation all the way back in 2008.

The most important thing to management is how well a Superstar can wrestle. As long as she doesn't get a third strike, she can salvage her career.

Paige has some big hurdles to clear, but she also has a few things working in her favor.

        

A Movie With The Rock

Pro Wrestling Sheet @WrestlingSheet

Your first look at @Florence_Pugh as @RealPaigeWWE in #WrestlingWithMyFamily CC: @Variety @Deadline @THR @TheWrap https://t.co/AHVOaHCTeL

The Rock and his Seven Bucks Productions company are producing a movie about Paige called Fighting With My Family.

WWE Studios is also involved in the project, and it will focus on Paige's entire family as they run a promotion in the British wrestling scene.

No release date has been announced, but scenes for the film were shot months ago with the woman set to play Paige, Florence Pugh, after an episode of Raw had finished filming.

Stephen Merchant will write and direct the comedy-drama, so the project is in good hands. He is mostly known for his work co-writing The Office with Ricky Gervais, but he was recently seen playing Caliban in Logan alongside Hugh Jackman. 

With the WWE and The Rock involved, this movie is going to get a lot of press. It will likely be advertised on WWE television, which means Paige will be brought in to help promote it.

If it gets positive reviews, the company would be foolish not to capitalize on the publicity by bringing her back to television.

       

Pure Wrestling Ability

The evolution of the women's division is often credited to Charlotte, Bayley, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks, but it was Paige and Emma who got things rolling.

Their match at NXT Arrival stole the show and proved the women's division deserved to be taken more seriously. Had they dropped the ball, there's no telling how long it would have taken for management to give them a second chance.

Most of the division is made up of wrestlers who have been on the main roster for under three years. Along with Natalya, Tamina, Mickie James and Naomi, Paige is one of the few Superstars who was there during the rough times. 

She was the first NXT women's champion and one of the youngest Superstars to win a title on the main roster in WWE history. Her wrestling ability is above average for someone her age, and she has a large following made up of both men and women. 

        

Paige is a Unique Inspiration

The WWE has plenty of great women doing amazing things right now, but Paige is different, and it's not just because her personal style which sets her apart, but that is part of it.

She hits a little harder than most, and she knows how to play to the crowd to get them back into what might have been a boring match.

When she is wrestling as a heel or babyface, Paige can work with any opponent to produce a good performance. Whether she has five minutes or 15, her bouts leave an impression.

The women's division has a lot of variety, but Paige appeals to the alternative crowd more than most of the current Superstars on the main roster.

Adult fans might not remember how important it was to find someone in mainstream culture to relate to when we were teenagers. Someone who identifies as a punk, goth, emo kid or anything considered outside the norm might not connect with Charlotte the same way they would with Paige.

That's not a knock on Charlotte. She is an inspiration in her own right, but young people like to feel accepted for who they are, and seeing someone like them on a huge stage like the WWE goes a long way toward helping them build confidence.

      

Conclusion

A lot has been written about Paige over the past year, but she has made it through every bit of bad press and personal trauma.

She is a great wrestler who can help shake things up in the women's division once she is cleared by doctors to return to the ring.

WWE has no shortage of great female performers right now, but having someone with an established following and a movie based on their family produced by The Rock would be hard for any promoter to pass up.

Hopefully, by this time next year, The Glampire is back to kicking opponents in the face and making them tap out in the middle of the ring. 

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